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Monday, August 14, 2006


AW Blog Chain, Round 4

The AWChain is back. In the link before me, Bhaswati talked about a biography of a famous cricket player. Well, as it so happens, I had recently been thinking a lot (probably too much) about some of the Mitsubishis that Chrysler imported in the '70s and early '80s, including the Plymouth Cricket.

It started out with a discussion of Plymouth Fire Arrows on the Grassroots Motorsports message board. Throughout the '70s and into the '80s, Chrysler sold Mitsubishi Galant derived cars under a half-dozen names in the United States and Canada: Dodge Colt, Dodge Challenger, Plymouth Cricket, Plymouth Champ, Plymouth Sapporo, and Plymouth Arrow. Quite a lot of names for very similar cars. Adding to the confusion, in 1979 Chrysler changed things around and made the Colt and Champ into front wheel drive cars. But right now it's been the rear wheel drive versions that I've been thinking about.

I've seen these things turn up at the dragstrip. Mopar fans sometimes swap in various V8 engines, usually a 360, and go drag racing. These cars go like rockets in a straight line, but are pretty nose-heavy, ill handling beasts. Not quite what I feel like building at the moment. I've been thinking of entering the Grassroots Motorsports $2007 Challenge - a contest to buy, fix, and modify a race car for under $2007 (right now, it's $2006, but I won't be able to enter this year). A Challenge car would need to handle as well as go fast.

Well, somehow I stumbled over the fact that many of these - all Sapporoes and Challengers, the Fire Arrows, and quite a few others - use an engine very similar to the 2.6 turbo motor found in the Mitsubishi Starion. A friend of mine used to have one of these oddly named technomobiles, and I seem to remember it putting around 250 hp to the rear wheels with a few mods. Now, dropping that engine into a Colt ought to be a lot of fun - lighter than a Starion, and much more ballanced than a 360 powered Arrow. Seems like I might have a possible recipe right here.

Since right now it's more important for me to find a job and get the Dart running, right now all I've been doing is trying to come up with different things I might be able to put together to enter. Right now I can't do any real work on building such a car, just daydreaming.

I went to the Challenge back in 2004. That time, I was driving a '89 Ford Probe GT that I had picked up for all of $500, then put $600 worth of race tires in the trunk. That was pretty much all there was to my racing effort - I did not spend anywhere near the time I needed to make it a decent car, just took some time to clean out a very nasty interior and do some minor repairs. I did not place very well, and came back home with the realization that if I go to the Challenge again, I had better bring something that has more time and effort put into it. Not only does putting more work into a car often mean better placement, it's what the competitors noticed and talked about. Bringing a beat up near stock car just doesn't go over well.

But it'll be a while before I can get to work on a Challenge entry. But once I mention that I've got the turbocharged Dodge Dart running well, go ahead and let me know if you've got a Plymouth Cricket for sale. Cheap.

Next in the blog chain is I, Misanthrope - the Dairy of a Dyslexic Writer.

Here is the whole list of blogs participating in Chain 4 - now with permalinks:

Pass the Torch
The Road Less Travelled
Fireflies in the Cloud
Even in a Little Thing
The Secret Government Eggo Project
Curiouser and Curiouser
At Home, Writing
Mad Scientist Matt's Lair
I, Misanthrope - The Dairy of a Dyslexic Writer
Beyond the Great Chimney Production Log
Flying Shoes
Everything Indian
The Hal Spacejock Series
Organized Chaos
Of Chapters and Reels
Just a Small town girl
Midnight Muse
Kappa no He

Way To Go Matt! I didn't even know there was ever a Plymouth Cricket. Then again I don't know much about cars, except for the Plymouth Duster we had that my brother-in-law called Desdemona.*

*see my winning wedding story for full details. it's a doosie (sp?)

Lol - nice linking there, Matt!
Wow from sports to cars..go figure lol. The first car I remember as a child was my parents Dodge Dart. It was white with a green hard top and green interior, vinyl. cold in the winter and hotter than heck in the summer. I learned the proper way to wash tires on that car :)
You're a master at segues, dear Matt.
Cars - nice topic ;-) I drive a 1998 Subaru Impreza WRX, unmodified except for a fatter exhaust and new rear lights. Had it since new, goes like a rocket and puts a smile on my face every time I start the engine. What more could I ask for?
Found a white WRX pic on the web (not mine, but similar) Mine has transparent turn signals and the original silver wheels.
Dude, you rule. Talk about a segue.
It's just not cricket to segue from sport to cars. :)
Bravo on the masterful linkage.
*snort* *snicker* *guffaw*

Way to segue the previous post into something that applies to, well, you. :D

I think my parents might have had a dart at one time. If I'm correct. I don't know cars and their names, so I could be completely wrong. Anyway, this car was bought from the cops - an old ghost car - and boy, could that thing go! My brother took it for a test drive on an abandoned highway and, well, let's just say it's a good thing the cops didn't catch him or he would have lost his license on the spot. :)
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